Causes of Damaged Dental Crowns

Oct 4, 2018 @ 09:50 AM — by Lauren Shanard
Tagged with: Dental Crowns

Digital image of dental crown being placedThose who have sustained dental damage, such as cracked, decayed, or infected teeth, may benefit from dental crowns at our Williston, VT practice. Dental crowns are fabricated from strong, durable materials. However, they can still become damaged.

Should this occur, it is important to address the issue as soon as possible to prevent further problems from developing. Today, Dr. Lauren J. Shanard discusses common causes of damaged dental crowns and explains how to protect your restorations for years to come.

Dental Crowns: A Brief Overview

Crowns are one of the most common treatments in dentistry. They are used in restorative and cosmetic procedures. Crafted from metal, ceramic, zirconia, and other high-quality dental materials, crowns fit over the whole tooth structure, providing strength and reinforcement.

On average, dental crowns last about 20 years. However, with proper care and maintenance, they can last even longer. In the sections below, we will explore the most common causes of damaged dental restorations and discuss how to prevent this from occurring.

Common Causes of Damaged Dental Crowns

There are several reasons why dental crowns may become damaged. These include:

  • Decay: While crowns are impervious to cavities, the underlying tooth structure is not. If bacteria invade the space between the tooth and the restoration, decay can develop, causing your crown to become dislodged or damaged.
  • Trauma: Injuries or trauma to the mouth can potentially damage the natural teeth and restorations.
  • Bruxism: Grinding or clenching places excessive pressure on the teeth and crowns. Over time, this force can damage your restorations and erode your natural enamel.
  • A misaligned bite: Malocclusion, or an improper bite, can place unnecessary pressure on your teeth. Constant forces can eventually damage your dental crowns.
  • Poor habits: It is never a good idea to use your teeth or restorations as tools. Habits such as nail-biting, chewing on pencils, or tearing tags off of clothing can lead to significant dental damage.
  • Poor oral hygiene: Fortunately, crowns do not require specialized maintenance. You can care for them with routine brushing and flossing. However, it is important to brush at least twice every day and floss once daily to reduce oral bacteria and protect your smile.

Warning Signs of Damaged Restorations

How can you know if you have a damaged crown? Here are a few symptoms:

  • Your bite suddenly feels “off”.
  • The surface of the tooth feels rough or jagged to the touch.
  • There is a visible chip, crack, or hole in the restoration.
  • Your teeth have become more sensitive to heat, cold, pressure, or sweets.
  • You have developed a toothache in the area.

Treating a Damaged Dental Crown

If your crown only has minor damage, we may be able to repair it with composite resin or other methods. However, in most cases, your crown will need to be replaced - especially if the damage is severe.

To replace a crown, Dr. Shanard will carefully remove the damaged restoration, smooth out any rough surfaces, and remove any decay from the natural tooth.

Next, impressions are taken and sent to a dental lab, where a ceramist will craft your new restoration. The entire process typically takes two office visits over a period of two to three weeks.

Contact Contemporary Dental Arts

If you suspect you have a damaged dental crown, schedule an appointment at our practice. Contact us online or give us a call at (802) 878-9888.

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